Friday, June 30, 2017

Settling in to Summer

Although we are still experiencing June Gloom most days here in Coastal Southern California, it is obviously SUMMER.

Thank you to all of you who expressed concern and care for me last week.  I am feeling much better and the bruising and swelling are nearly gone.  Although I still have lots of stitches in my gums, I almost feel 'normal'.

1.  It's those longer evenings when we walk and it's still light out.

2.  BIRTHDAY!  The Professor celebrated a milestone birthday.  Remembering how their mother gave each child a penny per year per week for allowances, The Professor's sister presented him with the appropriate number of pennies to celebrate.

3.  He chose dinner.  Persian cuisine.  Oh yum!
No photos because, well, we ate it.

4.  I am finished with one summer project.  I decided that I wanted to knit down my stash of two different yarns that had been building up in my yarn drawers.  Lots and lots of hats.

Adult hats

Kid sized hats

Now I have plenty of hats to sell at the various venues where I'll be spinning this autumn.

4.And this is how much of one kind of yarn--the remnants fit into a quart sized baggie.

5.   This retired thing means that we do most of our errands together.  That means library, grocery store, some meetings, and one final trip to the university.
The Professor waited a couple of weeks to access some files he wanted to finish and save because other people were using the particular computers he needed (don't ask me; it was all Greek to me)
While he was in his office, I wandered outside to enjoy the beauty of the campus.
Before this property was a state university, it was a state mental hospital.  The original buildings were built in California Mission style and the university has chosen to keep as many buildings as possible and renovate them.  It's a stunningly beautiful place! He will miss teaching there (but not the grading!).

Bonus:  As we head into the Fourth of July weekend, I am thankful for the liberties I have as an American.  I do not say that lightly.  The freedom I experience is not really a right but a privilege.

Do you have plans for the holiday?

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Happy Summer!

Happy Summer Solstice Day! Yesterday, that is.  Here are my Friday Fave Fives for this celebratory time.  Summer's HERE!

1.  Our week has been a bit warm, but this morning it was foggy again.  June Gloom.  I kinda like it.

the view from the freeway on ramp

2.  It has been a recovery week here at Willow's Cottage.  I have been mostly confined to the house while I wait for the swelling and bruising from my not so minor after all oral surgery to subside.  According to the surgeon who checked on me in the middle of the week, I am making a great and healthy recovery despite the epic bruising.

3.  This spring I planted my first calendula seeds.  Evidently, my garden really really likes calendula, and I've grown some lovely healthy plants which have bloomed brilliantly.  I have already picked a bunch of the flowers, and they are drying so I can use them to make some calendula oil.

4.  Thursday I drove The Professor to Ventura for one of those early morning lab sessions.  It was my first trip out this week other than the doctor visit, so we took advantage of the day to pick up some books from the library and take a short walk among the oaks and eucalyptus trees.  I've really missed my walks!

5.  May and June are purple months in Southern California.  Mostly it's the jacaranda trees that dominate the color scheme.  But other purple (and blue) plants and bushes bloom during this late spring season.  Everywhere I turn I see the purple.  It makes me smile.

Enjoy your first summer weekend (or first winter weekend if you are in the Southern Hemisphere)!  Here are a couple more photos just to make you smile.

that necklace from my sweet tutoring student

and it isn't really summer unless there's a photo or two of the beach

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

An English Adventure Part #6

After I posted those photos of England last week, I've been thinking and thinking about my visits there.  Those photos are the reason I just can't get England out of my mind; that and the fact that our friends have been hanging around our place a lot lately because their plumbing is torn up and the husband is from Dorchester.  So I decided to just start posting my photos of the England 2016 trip again.

Dorchester has a long history.  During Roman times, the town was known as Durnovaria and was located near a Roman garrison.  Because of that, there are many Roman ruins and relics in Dorchester.  Probably the most famous is the Roman Town House which is situated inside what were the walls of the city (known as The Walks).  Of course, we had to visit it.

A section of The Walks near the Roman Town House

Older Daughter standing on the outer walls.
As you can tell, there isn't much left.

Water trough?


water channels for heating the floor

mosaics still intact

All around southwest England there are beautiful black stones and they were used extensively in the buildings.

After exploring the Roman Town House, we decided that a stroll along the Rive Fromme would be an appropriate way to end our day.

Honestly, who wouldn't want to live here where there are Roman ruins and delightful river walks?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Almost Summer

Well, I didn't expect my week to end this way--a visit to the oral surgeon and meds and down time.  But, yep, sometimes it happens.  Before I crash again and take more pain pills, let me share my Friday Fave Fives.

1.  A great dentist and great oral surgeon.  I knew I had an infection at the spot of a recent dental implant.  After a quick visit with my dentist, he made a personal call to the surgeon and got me an immediate appointment with the surgeon.  That's service!  And the surgeon moved his schedule around to see me right away and arranged for me to come again in the next day to have my mouth sliced up deal with the infection.

2.  My chauffeur hubby drove me to my appointment, waited for me, bought me soy ice cream, brought me home, cooked and pureed some lentil soup for me.  Personal service when I need it!

3.  Before all this happened, though, we enjoyed a first birthday party for a great nephew.  It's fun to see how well our nieces and nephew are embracing parenthood and raising some adorable children.

4.  Knitting is happening.  For obvious reasons, I haven't photographed the eighteen (18!) hats I've made in the past two weeks.  My Simply Soft yarn stash is basically wiped out!  I have a few tiny bits of various colors which aren't enough to make even a small hat.  So now I'm on to the next yarn--Red Heart Soft.  It may go even a bit faster because the yarn is slightly heavier and I am using a larger needle size.  Hopefully, I'll get some pictures to share in the next day or two.

5.  This school year I have been tutoring one student in writing.  Each week, I drove to Ventura and spent a delightful hour with a motivated and talented fourth grade boy.  His brother had been in my classes, so I knew that I would enjoy tutoring this young man.  And I did!  This week was our last session and we both were a little bit sad about that.  He gave me a lovely African bead necklace made from shredded paper. Perhaps you've seen those beads.  According to his mom, he carefully chose which necklace I would prefer.  Of course, it had turquoise in it!  Photos coming, I hope!  I have also gotten to know his mother a bit more, and we agree that we could just be friends forever.

And so now it is time for me to rest.  I will do my best to visit the other lovely people who post their Friday Fave Fives.  In the meantime, enjoy a lovely almost summer weekend!

Random photos of England because, well, when you feel a bit yucky, browsing through pictures of one of your favorite places is therapeutic.

Friday, June 09, 2017

June Days

You know those days or weeks when you sit down to write and you realize "I got nothin'"?  I've had a week like that.  However, I like to approach Fridays with the attitude that there are good things that happen every day and I should be paying attention to them and be grateful for them. That's why I participate in Friday Fave Fives which Susanne hosts.  Maybe as I begin to write, more things will pop into my mind

1.  May Gray has become June Gloom in our weather.  Cloudy and foggy may not be every one's fave, but I enjoy the cooler, gentler days.  We even had a bit of light misty rain one morning.

2.  In thinking of the typical weather of this season, I was reminded of something else.  Sundown is a bit later now so our evening walks in the neighborhood are not in the dark.  I like that because I don't have to concern myself as much with making myself noticeable to the occasional drivers.  And we are outside and can notice the beautiful sunsets.

3.  This week, I decided to check how many books I had on my kindle.  I discovered I had way too many several which I hadn't read.  I will notice a free book and think, "Oh, that looks interesting" and download it.  So I have set myself to read through those books this summer.  The first one has been a delight--a journal written by an avid British hiker about his walks in England and Europe.  I might be looking up the places he mentions on google maps to follow his description of the trails...

4.  And of course while I'm reading, I'm knitting, too.  More hats.  The yarn stash of the kind I usually use for the beanies is dwindling.

5.  A time of refreshment--one of my artist group friends is traveling to Alaska for a couple of weeks to volunteer in a community where people come from all over the world to work in the canneries during fishing season.  I spent an afternoon with her just enjoying her company, praying with her for her trip, and appreciating her paintings and pieces of pottery.

See?  When I sit and think about my week, I find so much for which to be thankful!

And here is more jacaranda eye candy.. photos from other years.  Obviously, I just can't get enough of these beautiful trees!

Friday, June 02, 2017

Hikes and Trees

Friday Fave Fives.  One of my favorite ways to celebrate the blessings of the week.

Three hikes
1.  We had never been hiking in Wildwood Park which is in the Conejo Valley just east of where we live.  So we decided to venture out for an exploratory hike. There are miles and miles of trails in wide open expanses and into (and out of) deep canyons.  We barely began our explorations.  We'll definitely be back.

2.  The next day we decided that a short walk would be enough.  This iconic walk is not more than a third of a mile up the slope from one of the main roads in Camarillo and ends in a cute little park.  Lined on both sides by towering eucalyptus trees, the path is often photographed or painted and displayed around the city.

3.  I never get tired of the beach paths. Never.  Ventura Beach and Pier.

4. The jacaranda trees are blooming everywhere.  I first noticed jacaranda trees the first May (spring) we lived in Los Angeles.  Entire streets would be lined with giant purple bouquets as the trees burst into bloom.  Jacarandas tend to be boring and they easily blend into the background as their leaves are more like fern fronds.  But.  Then they bloom.  They take over the towns in Southern California while their branches are full of lavender flowers.  I think it's because the purple is so vibrant that they all of a sudden pop up everywhere in the scenery.  I could do a whole post of just photos of jacaranda trees around town.  Here they are gracing one of the main drags in town.

5.  No photos--but we have been eating our salads from our garden this week.  Cherry tomatoes. Snap peas.  Romaine lettuce.  Yum!

Bonus:  I've been thinking and meditating on this verse from Isaiah (61:3) this week.  My prayer:

they will be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

I live in the land of native California live oaks, so I see oak trees everywhere (almost as often as palm trees!).  I want to be an oak of righteousness!